Dynamic Strong Typing

strong, typing, dynamic
pip install dynamight==0.1.0


Dynamight 💣💪

Dynamic Strong Typing in Python

A quick and dirty use of Python function annotations to apply strong typing to functions and methods at runtime. If inputs or outputs of a function do not match the type specified in the function annotation, a type error will be thrown. This strong typing is applied to individual functions/classes through a decorator. As an example of usage:

import dynamight

def is_able_to_pass(name : str, quest : str, favourite_colour : str) -> bool:
    if name == "Lancelot" and quest == "seek the holy grail":
        followup_favourite_colour = input("...")
        if favourite_colour == followup_favourite_colour:
            return True
    return False

bridge_keepers_decision = is_able_to_pass("Lancelot", "Really likes bridges", 5)
# Will raise a TypeError when favourite_colour receives an int instead of a str

Dynamight can be installed through Pip:

pip install dynamight

Key Features

This is something I whipped together fairly quickly to experiment with function annotations and didn't want to get too bogged down in; if you're looking for an actual solution for static typing in Python, you probably want MyPy at "compile" time or Enforce at runtime.

Despite this there are a few features of my approach I'm quite proud of:

  • Strong typing on the output of generator functions (functions which yield). In a somewhat hacky way due to not being able to modify the generator returned by a generator function, the generator returned is replaced with a similar iterable class which tries to copy the original generator (but validates the output of __next__()).

  • Flexible lists of possible types - being able to type a parameter as [int, str] as well as just str, so either a string or an integer value will be allowed.

Notes on usage

This should sum up all the key things you need to know about supported function annotations and applying the decorator:

Order of decorators matters
class SomeClass():

    def happy_function(name : str):
        # this ordering works correctly

    def sad_function(name : str):
        # this ordering will cause an exception when the module is initializing
Types in function annotations are covariant

An instance of a subclass will be accepted as well as an instance of the class

def some_function(anything : object):

# This wont throw a TypeError as str is a subclass of object
Covers most basic types

However currently specifying a type of item within a collection is not implemented

bool, str, int, list, dict, float, object, tuple, set, None
# also custom classes will work too
None is a special case
def some_function() -> None:

# None will be converted to type(None) behind the scenes, so use None.
Applying strong to a class affects all methods

It's not going to have any effect on functions without annotations though

class Hogwarts():

    # will be wrapped but has no effect
    def add_troll_to_dungeon(self, troll, dungeon):

    # will be wrapped and type checked when called
    def move_stairs_around(self, angle : int) -> None:
strong wont break *args and **kwargs

Trying to apply typing to them is useless but it's not going to break your functions with them in

test_strong_type is a good place to look for more usage examples


Feedback appreciated! This was a project I worked on with an aim to see what I could get just done and released ASAP, rather than starting another programming project I don't get around to finishing.

A few other ideas I had for this but didn't have time for are:

  • Using the typing library to check for collections of typed items as function annotations.
  • Since strong typing doesn't seem as necessary in Python/isn't integral to the language, another idea I had was something like a wrapper which performs a conversion on inputs which don't match the type in the annotation, to the specified type, through some sort of graph of transforms. Would be like defensive programming.